Some farmers are claiming that the environmental group Forest and Bird is misinformed on high-country issues.
Forest and Bird has accused the Government of stopping Department of Conservation (DoC) attempts to protect the Mackenzie Basin.
The group says documents obtained under the Official Information Act show the Government's new high-country policy is undermining DoC's ability to protect the Canterbury area from intensive irrigation.
But Federated Farmers vice-president Donald Aubrey says that Forest and Bird doesn't understand high-country pastoral leases.
High Country land has been protected for years by the 1948 Land Act, he says, and it's irresponsible to suggest that an area might be destroyed by farming because DoC isn't in charge of the land.